Zamberlan Mountain Lite HBS 2008

The Zamberlan Mountain Lite is a 3-4 season boot that incorporates the classic features that have been popular for British mountain walking for many years. It has a one-piece leather upper, so there are no lines of stitching to leak or fall apart given mountain abuse. The upper is nice and stiff so a crampon can be fitted in comfort, while the foot gets plenty of protection from rocky mountain scrapes. The sole unit is the classic Vibram Vertige, which has a very deep pattern of lugs and a heel clip for easier crampon fitting. There is plenty of stiffness in the sole for a wide mix of terrain including use with crampons, but the boot retains enough flex to make walking comfortable. Good cushioning enhances the comfort under the laces in particular. This is a solid and reliable year-round mountain boot.  But the Zamberlan Mountain Lite has no waterproof lining. (That said, if you look after the boots properly it is very unlikely that they will leak as there is so little stitching on the upper. There is also a Gore-Tex version available.) Some boots get a rubber rand, but this is made of full-grain leather so it is less important. The sole is not quite as stiff as some others here, so it is not ideal for steeper snow.

Upper full-grain leather
Lining Cambrelle
Sole Vibram Vertige
Crampon compatibility B1
Sizes 42-48 (men’s); 38-42 (women’s)
Weight 2190g (pair, size 46)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 40
Verdict
A superb year-round hill and mountain walking boot with enough stiffness for tackling easier snow- and ice-covered terrain. It merited ‘Best in Test’.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2008